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Nepal police arrest man over links to Mumbai blasts

world Updated: Jul 26, 2011 19:06 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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A Nepali man has been arrested by the Kathmandu police for his alleged involvement in the July 13 Mumbai blasts, a local daily claimed on Tuesday.

A report in Gorkhapatra, a government-run daily, stated that Mohammad Zahir who hails from Sarlahi district in the Terai region bordering India was arrested by an anti-terrorism cell.

Tough the police have termed the report as baseless and denied having made any arrest in connection with the Mumbai blast, unofficial sources say that the incident has been kept under wraps.

Based on intelligence inputs, the person believed to be in his 40s was arrested on July 15, two days after the serial blasts from his rented apartment in Baluwatar, a posh locality in the capital that houses the prime minister’s residence.

Quoting unidentified police officials, the report says that Zahir was nabbed after he had talked about the Mumbai blasts over mobile phone and sent SMSs on the incident.

Although the report mentions that Zahir has been kept in police custody in Kathmandu, police officials here are giving contradictory statements.

Kathmandu police chief Kedar Rijal told HT that no person called Mohammad Zahir has been arrested, but Nepal Police spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal admitted that such an arrest has been made.

“The police have arrested a person by that name, but it was not in connection with the Mumbai blasts. He was placed under arrest for creating public nuisance,” Dhakal told HT.

Due to absence of an extradition treaty between both nations, criminals wanted in India are secretly handed over by Nepal to Indian authorities who in turn show that the arrest was made near the Indo-Nepal border.

In the past several militants operating in north-east were nabbed in Nepal and handed over to Indian officials. The same modus operandi may be used in this case if any Mumbai blast suspect has been arrested.

India has been insisting on Nepal signing a new extradition treaty since 2005, but political instability in the Himalayan nation has delayed its signing.